Everyone is different. Some people share their love with the world very openly. Some love everyone. Some people hide their love away. They lock it up in their hearts, never to see the light of day. For if they let it out they may experience pain and that pain may burn them badly.
The best idea is to share love carefully and use it a a resource. In other words, you can love someone with just a small amount of kindness without letting it overwhelm your life or your heart. For example, you may have a friend who is down on their luck. Instead of taking them in, sheltering them, paying for their food, their phone bill, their medication - you can opt for only paying for their medication. Let someone else pay their bills, someone else take them in. You do not have to do everything, nor should you be expected to. This may be different if we are talking about a family member, but in all cases taking on someone else's responsibilities completely just because you are trying to be a good Christian may end up ruining your day, month or year.
Similarly, start each new relationship with friends or romantic interests with great care and caution. There are heart breakers out there. I say this because usually I am the one breaking hearts. It is not on purpose, but I have in the past rushed into things, only to decide later that it was a bad idea. This blog examines several areas of love.
Expressions of Love
You can actually take this online quiz and learn what your priorities are as far as romantic and friendship love are concerned. This focuses on romantic love, but it is also helpful for understanding friendship love. I highly suggest taking it just to know what your priorities are.
Three Kinds of Love
Adapted from info taken from UBDavid
Agape love has two main characteristics: (1) It is completely unselfish— it seeks that which is best for the one it loves, and (2) it is committed love—it keeps on loving regardless of what happens.
Agape love is not just a wonderful feeling; it is definite choice. One of the amazing things about agape love is this: When you choose to love a person unselfishly and act lovingly toward them, in time you will have the feeling of love toward them.
God has given us a wonderful place in which we learn agape love. That place is the home. When you live at home you learn how to act and love unselfishly. Remember, you do not have to wait until you feel love to be loving. You can choose to love them and begin acting unselfishly toward them. This is excellent training for life!
Any person can act lovingly toward someone of the opposite sex. It is in your interest to do so. However, once you are married and the routine of daily living sets in, you'll both see each other's true nature. You can not be selfish and self-centered and be successful. Look at how they treat their family members. Are they unselfish to their family?
One of the biggest mistakes young people make is rushing into marriage. Before considering marriage you need to know that you have agape love for that special person and that he or she has the same kind of love for you. A happy marriage is not a marriage between two “perfect” people. There is no such thing as perfect people. A happy marriage is a marriage between two imperfect people who love each other with unselfish, committed love. Agape love is not blind—it sees the faults of the other person, but it covers them with love.
When you really love someone, you don’t try to change them. You accept them and love them as they are. Agape love says, “I love you, no matter what happens, and I always will.” You can see why this kind of love is so essential in a happy and successful marriage.
Agape love is not just for marriage. We should develop agape love for all people. Every person is the object of God’s love. Every person is exceedingly precious to God. His love includes all people, and ours should also.
God has given us the perfect example of agape love. He gave His Son to die on the cross for sinful people like you and me. The Bible says,“God shows His [agape] love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
FRIENDSHIP LOVE - This is the warm love and affection we have for good friends—people whom we like and enjoy. We should have such friends both from our own sex and from the opposite sex. Christians should develop unselfish agape love for all people, but we cannot be close friends with all people. The pyramid illustrates how the objects of our affection begin to narrow when we get to friendship love. It is greater than Sexual Love, but less than Agape Love.
To have a successful marriage, you need friendship love for your mate so that you enjoy being together, talking and sharing things with each other. A marriage without respect and tender affection between husband and wife will be unsatisfactory, even if there is a lot of passion in the bedroom.
SEXUAL LOVE - This is that special, most intimate kind of love between a husband and wife. We should have sexual love for only one person—the one to whom we are married. The pyramid illustrates how our affections should narrow to one person when it comes to sexual love.
In the beginning God created one man and one woman. They were committed to each other for life. This is God’s design for marriage and sexual love—one man and one woman committed to each other for life.
God gave sex both as a means of producing children and as a source of pleasure. Through sexual intercourse a husband and wife are able to express to the fullest their love for each other. This is one of the great blessings and privileges of marriage.
To protect this blessing of sexual love within marriage, God gave this command—“You shall not commit adultery.”
This command forbids all sexual impurity. Fornication is sexual intercourse between an unmarried man and woman. Adultery is sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her marriage partner. Both fornication and adultery are forbidden by God, along with all other sexual sins.
God is not against sex. He is against the wrong use of sex. After all, sex was God’s idea in the first place. Within marriage, it is one of the most wonderful blessings we can enjoy. That’s what God intended it to be!
As wonderful as sexual love is, it can never be the foundation for a successful marriage. Many couples try to build their marriage on the foundation of physical or sexual love. The marriage may last for a while, but when the storms of life come, their marriage fails. They discover too late that you cannot build a happy and successful marriage with sexual love as the foundation.